Katherine Johnson Middle School conducts a wellness and suicide prevention screening with all 7th grade students each fall. The adolescent years are marked by a roller-coaster ride of emotions—difficult for youths, their parents, and educators. It is easy to misread depression as normal adolescent turmoil. Depression, however, (among the most common of mental illnesses) appears to be occurring at a much earlier age. Depression—which is treatable—is a leading risk factor for suicide. In addition, self-injury has become a growing problem among youth.
The SOS Signs of Suicide® Prevention Program is the only school-based suicide prevention program listed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) on its National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices that addresses suicide risk and depression, while reducing suicide attempts. Below are copies and translations of the parent letter that went home regarding the screening. If you have any questions about this program, or would like additional mental health resources, please contact your student’s school counselor or another member of the Clinical Team.
Local Crisis Resources
- FCPS Mental Health Resources and Emergency Information: this link offers information about youth depression and positive mental health, resiliency, bullying prevention, as well as community resources and emergency contact information through FCPS, the community, and nationwide.
- Looking for a therapist in the community? Contact your student’s school counselor or search Psychology Today, a database of clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors. You can search by zip code, insurance, student’s age, and presenting concern. This allows you to find a therapist that is convenient, affordable, and has experience working with teenagers with specific concerns. Check it out: https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/
- Presentation by Dr. Tedesco, psychologist-Adolescent Health and Happiness: A Parent’s Guide.
- Suggested articles and books for parents regarding raising a teenager in today’s modern world.